The Transylvania Times -

AAUW Preparing For 50th Book Sale


May 20, 2019

Members of the local AAUW Chapter work throughout the year to collect, sort, price and prepare hundreds of boxes of books for its annual book sale.

In 2018, the book sale raised more than $28,000 for scholarships. This June 15–20, the book sale continues its mission, with more than 20,000 books offered for sale in Brevard College's Boshamer gym, with a goal of raising $31,000. This year is the book sale's 50th Anniversary and will be held in memory of Carol Martin Elliott, a long-time and active member of the Brevard branch, who passed away earlier this year.

In the late 1960s, the Brevard branch of the American Association of University Women, seeking to raise funds for the scholarship program of the national AAUW, launched its first sale.

The national office designated a scholarship program to "provide fellowships for female Ph.D. candidates who have completed all coursework but need financial support while finishing their dissertations."

In the 1969 -1970 fiscal year, the national group awarded these fellowships to 86 women, in amounts of $3,000 to $5,000. The Brevard branch's first Book Sale raised $115 to contribute to that total.

The book sale's first eight years was one day only and was held on the sidewalk in front of Morris' Pharmacy (now O. P. Taylor's) on Broad Street. The 1976 proceeds provided over $1,000 for the national scholarship program.

In 1977, having outgrown the sidewalk space, the book sale venue moved to Brevard Elementary School. The 1977 sale changed from a one-day event to three days, held in conjunction with the Transylvania County Festival of the Arts. The total raised for the scholarships was $1,750.

The project's success led the Brevard chapter to add a local component to the fundraising effort.

While the money raised continued to be allocated to the national Ph.D. fellowship program, additional funds were designated for two Transylvania County women attending Brevard College.

The ubiquitous yellow boxes began to appear in 1980 at local businesses, thus relieving members from providing space in their own homes and garages for the year-round donations of books.

Each successive year, the numbers of books donated and the amounts raised increased.

In 1986, the local branch raised enough money to make an additional special contribution to the Transylvania County Library Foundation.

By 1998, with more than 20,000 books donated and more than $12,000 raised, the Brevard chapter awarded two stipends for Brevard Middle School girls to use for tuition for a summer science camp at the Green River Preserve in addition to the ongoing scholarships for Brevard College students

Boshamer gym became the site for the 2000 sale, held for three days and raising $15,000.

The awards further expanded to include a scholarship for a student attending Blue Ridge Community College, two stipends for a "Presidential Classroom" award and a contribution to the Davidson River School to support a student trip to Washington, D. C.

The following year, additional one-time grants were made to the New Century Scholarship Fund, a teaching mini-grant, and the Reading Renaissance program in Transylvania County Schools.

The chapter's scholarship program now includes annual awards for elementary- and middle-school girls to attend the science camp at the Green River Preserve and the WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) program at Clemson University.

By 2014, the branch had given well over $150,000 in direct college scholarships in addition to funding two scholarship endowments at Brevard College and Blue Ridge Community College, now worth over $100,000.

Throughout the years of the book sale, the branch's support of education and leadership development for women and girls, internationally, nationally and locally has been steady and increasing each year.

There is still time to donate books for this year's sale.

Look for the yellow boxes, add your donations and plan to drop by Brevard College's Boshamer Gym, June 15-20, (10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Sunday, when hours will be noon to 7 p.m., and Thursday, with hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to get great deals on books and to help with the scholarship programs for women and girls in Transylvania County.

If you are interested in joining the Brevard Branch of the AAUW, contact Maury Bandurraga (828-862-5968) or Jeannie Bernard (828-884-9179) for information.


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